Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thank You for all the memories! Last mission update!

This will be the last post from Brooke on her mission!  It is impossible to believe that 18 months has come and gone and she will be home Friday!! 
 I just wanted to let everyone know that Brooke will be speaking in church this Sunday, 6/11 at 9am.  Brooke will be sharing some of her experiences from her mission in Hungary and would love to see anyone that would like to come! 
Brooke would also love to visit with anyone who would like to come over to our home to see her and welcome her home after church, this Sunday, from noon - 4pm.  Our address is 1965 Tyndrum Lane in Folsom.  Hopefully you will enjoy her last letter home!!! 
Chris (Brooke’s Mom) 

^Vékony elnök, the branch president

I never understood how my grandma was able to leave her family and home in New Zealand to start a new life with my grandpa over in the states. Leaving a place and people that have become a part of you is really really hard. Before I left on my mission, I felt some similar feelings, but felt okay knowing that my family and friends would be there after the 18 months was over. I never planned on getting so attached to all of this. But then again, I am me, so of course I didJ  This last week I actually thought about my grandma extra and her brave decision to look ahead and face a new chapter in life! I have decided to follow her example and do a hard thing by leaving Hungary. (cant wait to squeeze you gramma!)

I never thought this day would come. It sounds cliché, but it is so true. I spent a lot of time (probably too much) worrying about the future and being so sad to leave it all. These past 18 months I have learned how important it is to turn outwards instead of inwards and I will admit that I forgot for a second. Luckily I have wonderful family and friends, back home and here in Hungary that have helped me to gain a new perspective. I am going to choose to be happy. 

a few of my family here in Nyíregyháza!   

^Johanna and Márton

^László. Cant find the words to express how much i love this man

^Valika (and her adorable granddaughter Noémi)

This is impossible to put into words, but I am going to try.
My mission was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was given a year and a half to be independent. To, on my own, come to know that this gospel is true and that I have a Father in heaven that knows and loves me. And with that independence, I have learned to depend on Him and on my Savior, Jesus Christ. They have always been there for me- when homesickness came, and with all the rejection and let-downs, and feelings of frustration and inadequacy (just to name a few). I have turned to them for everything. And they have been there for me and more and helped me to become someone I had no idea I was capable of becoming. I wouldnt trade these past 18 months for anything in the world. And with all of the experiences, I have gained so many special relationships with people I never would have met had it not been for the mission. The hungarians have changed my life. They are such incredible examples to me of strength, dedication, selflessness, patience and love. They will always hold such a special place in my heart- all of the members, investigators, and even the random people I met ont he street. One of the biggest blessings I have recieved as a missionary is to feel God’s love for the hungarians. If I love these people with all of my heart, I can only begin to imagine how much He must love them. 

one last little branch activity before I left!



One thing is for sure- God loves each and every one of His children.  
last splits with the Egri nővérek! love them to death

I am so sad that this will be my last email as a missionary. But I find hope in the thought and the plans I have to go home and continue to serve. To keep sharing my testimony and helping others to be happy and feel loved. Fort he first time in the longest time, I do feel peace. I am ready to be reunited with my family and friends. It has been a whileJ Leaving Hungary is going to be hard. But if one thing I have learned on my mission, its that I can do hard things. I will come home. And I will take everything I have learned with me. I really have so much to be happy about. My heart is full of gratitude for all God has given me. He really is the best. 

Before I end this, I wanted to share my testimony in hungarian one last time! 

Ez a bizonyságom, hogy meg szeretnék tenni-, tudom, hogy ez az egyház igaz. Egyik a kedvenc szentírásom mondja: ” A lelkek értéke nagy Isten szemébe.” És azt biztosan tudom, hogy igaz. Éreztem egy misszionáriusként Isten szeretetét másokért és tudom, hogy ő szeret minket végtelenül. Nem vagyunk egyedül. Emlékeznünk kell arra kik vagyunk- Isten gyermekei. Fontos az, hogy alázatosak legyünk a megpróbáltatásainkban és tudom, hogy ha igyekszünk és próbálunk, akkor a mi Mennyei Atyánk látja és, mellettünk fog állni és segíteni fog nekünk. Tudom hogy ő szeretne hogy boldog legyünk és szeretne ha visszajövőnk Hozzá ez az élet után. Tudom hogy a család egyűt élhet mindörökre és nagyon hálás vagyok azért mert a családom a legfontosabb dolog az életemben. Nagyon szeretem a Szabadítómat, Jézus Krisztust. Hálás vagyok érte és ő engesztelő áldozatáért és tökéletes példájáért számunkra. Egy misszió nem egy könnyű dolog, de megérte. Egy jobb ember lettem mert szolgáltam a Magyarország Budapest Misszióban. Annyira hálás vagyok a misszió elnökömért és ő feleségéért és a kedvességükért. Hálás vagyok minden társomért és barátomért akit megismertem a misszióm során. NAGYON SZERETEM A MAGYAROKAT. Teljes szívvel. És hálás vagyok ezért a tapasztalatért. Kaptam a biztos tudást hogy ez az evangélium igaz. Ez az út. Boldog vagyok az evangélium miatt. Mindezt mondom Jézus Krisztus nevében, Ámen.

I LOVE YOU ALL. Thank you for all the constant love and support you have given me my entire mission. I genuinely mean it when I say that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for you. I am so excited to see your beautiful faces and hug you so very tight!

And to Hungary, my home away from home, I bid you a heartfelt farewell until we meet again. Thank you for all the memories. 

Sok-sok szeretettel, 

Gertsch nővér

some pictures trying to capture the beauty of Hungary. doesnt do it justice!

 the beautiful city of Nyíregyháza

Friday, June 2, 2017


May 29, 2017

In all honesty, I am SO nervous about the future.  I look back and laugh at how nervous and stressed I would get right before transfers.  Getting a new city or new companion was exciting, but it also meant change which has never been easy for me.  I have learned time after time to trust in the Lord and His plan for me.  Each and every transfer call was EXACTLY what I needed and I know He knows me perfectly.  If after 8 transfers I have figured that out, why am I so scared?  Why do I not want to leave?  Well, I DO know that I have fallen in love with this country and it’s people.  I have grown to love being a missionary and serving the Lord, and truly be happy while doing it.  I feel the Spirit all day, everyday and can focus with little to no distractions.  I will spend the rest of forever saying - MISSIONS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST! and they are so worth it.  

Don’t get me wrong - I miss my family and friends at home and cannot wait to squeeze them.  So I guess I will go home.  Leaving Hungary is going to be the biggest change to happen to me in the last 18 months.  Big events, big changes always bring fear and hesitation.  I know Heavenly Father is watching out for me though because a thought came to me randomly one morning last week during personal study.  I pulled out the talk by Elder Holland - “Cast not away therefore thy confidence”.  It was exactly what I needed and gave some peace to my stressed-out self.  To sum things up, the talk references Moses when he has just seen God, and then Satan tries with all his might to shake him.  While reading, I realized how relevant that is to being on a mission.  Elder Holland said, “we cannot sign on for a battle of such eternal significance and everlasting confidence without knowing it will be a fight.  A good fight and a winning fight.  But a fight nonetheless.” 

^ and this is Zsolt, our amazing Ward Mission Leader

The past year and a half I have spent coming closer than I ever have to my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And now, the end is near and I am freaking out!!  I now and have experienced, that I’m not alone in these scary moments!  “Don’t panic and retreat.  Don’t lose your confidence.  Don’t forget how you once felt.”  I have so many experiences (I have shared many of them) that have only continued to solidify my testimony that God knows and loves us perfectly.  Satan is also very much aware of us and will try all he can to make sure we do not continue on the path of happiness in front of us.

I could go on and on about this talk.  I highly recommend reading it!  To end this letter, I will share this scripture Elder Holland uses in his talk:

“cast not away therefore thy confidence - which hath great recompense of reward.”

“we can hang on, whatever the assault of affliction, because we have paid the price of real conviction.”

I KNOW that the future is good and I have prepared myself for it.  I know that I have heavenly help and I have no need to worry.  There always has to be a first.

^ spent the day with a senior couple, the Mosers, from another city called Miskolc

This next week - I am going to enjoy every single thing, just as I have this whole time. I have the biggest prayer of thanks in my heart ALWAYS that I could serve the Lord here in this incredible country that has become my home away from home.   Don’t even get me started on the people. Needless to say I have gained countless forever friends.  

^ Sárika, a less active i adore! this week we worked lots in her garden!

^ Debrecen

Well, that is all the rambling I will do for this week.  Get ready for next week as I try to put my emotions into words (It will be my last email from my mission!!!)

^ train rides make me feel so sentimental nowadays

Nagyon szeretlek titeket es vigyázatok magatokra 

sok szeretettel,

Gertsch Nővér 

^ one last splits in debrecen! with the lovely Solomon Nővér